HELLO THERE FROM THE AZORES,
I hope you are all well.
Fripp, Simon Darlow and I have been in the studio putting down the main parts of my June single release SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM. It sounds amazing, totally different to Grace Jones’ iconic and perfect original, my version will surprise all, it has a connection to the words that suddenly revealed itself as soon as I put the main vocal down and Fripp played…….. the three of us really are a great musical team, we are very excited.
It has been a daunting project with all three of us not wanting to trespass on such a perfect track but we have been fuelled by the bravado of our connection to the origin of the song, I was the vocalist on the first demo.
HERE COMES THE BEAT………………………
It is a huge relief that the June ELECTRIC LADIES TOUR has been announced with the new line-up to very positive feedback. We all needed to see how Hazel was going to recover over the past months and she needs time. Her recovery cannot be forced or hurried in anyway. She knows how much she is loved and how everyone is willing her to get back to the stage when she is ready.
I am thrilled, ABSOLUTELY THRILLED, that LENE LOVICH and SAFFRON are on board, it is a perfect line-up, we fit so well with each other’s unique styles and with Hazel’s history.
Saffron was so excited when we asked her I received 18 texts from her in one go…….her enthusiasm jumping from my phone, it was a ray of light from what has been a very worrying few months.
Saffron will be performing some of Hazel’s material. Myself and Sarah Fisher, Hazel’s keyboard player, will perform WILL YOU.
It will be a very special tour. A percentage of the income will go towards Hazel buying a new car and running her everyday costs while she is unable to work.
It is an honour to be working with two artists who have inspired and shown me support over the years.
Lene Lovich is a huge inspiration to me. Her vocal style encouraged me to be distinctive, brave and to break the mould, to use expression over convention. AND “Lucky Number” remains one of the greatest indie songs ever written.
Saffron too inspires me, with her energy, enthusiasm and brilliant music….this line-up is made in heaven!
So many of my friends, neigbours and collegues have Covid. Fripp still hasn’t had it and I find myself marching him to the sink every few minutes to wash his hands to keep him safe…I am so scared of him suffering from it.
Currently, it’s Monday and I am writing this from Ponta Delgada in the Azures, sitting in my cabin on The Britannia, waiting to soundcheck my shows on board.
Last Tuesday Clare Grogan and I ran the entire length of Lisbon airport with our luggage, only having ten minutes to board our flight to the UK from the check in desk. (I needed to return to the UK to film a programme for CH5, then to return to Lisbon to transit to the Azores yesterday, Sunday)
We had been with Carol Decker on the Valiant Lady Virgin Voyager, performing two wonderful concerts, but the ship diverted for a stroke victim to be picked up by helicopter near Madeira, so we were running a day late. People’s lives always come first no matter what.
As we ran through the airport all the staff where willing us on as if we where marathon runners, it was kind of fun and I now know I can run a full 10minutes with 20kilos of luggage in tow.
It did me the world of good to have time with Clare, we have the same instinctive frustrations about the industries we are in, the same observations, we both stand under the same glass ceiling and wonder how to conquer it knowing if we never do at least we will never give up trying, we will have done our best.
The Virgin cruise did not end happily. The next morning Carol Decker text us to say the ship had turned around to head south looking for someone who had jumped off. She was very upset, as were the entire team, I was too, to think of this crowded vessel full of happy concert goers, who all chanted TOYAH! TOYAH! TOYAH! as I disembarked for the airport, that anyone of them could have come to harm.
Sadly the CCTV proved it was a deliberate jump and the person is now missing after every vessel in the area joined the search…….it’s heart breaking and the regret of not being able to have talked to that person, just to try to change their mind, to never have been aware that they needed help in the first place, will haunt me.
My deepest sympathy goes out to this person’s family and friends.
When I return to the UK after this set of concerts it’s straight into the studio to continue re-working IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN and to mix SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM.
I’m also working on a documentary about Katherine Hepburn and shooting an hour special with Pam Ayres for ITV…..she has a wicked sense of humour.
THEN…..we start rehearsing ELECTRIC LADIES…..it’s going to be a WOW! A dream come true, I promise.
A couple of weeks ago I worked on a format run for a new ITV show headed by Emily Atack, she was brilliant and totally on it. Russell Kane was on the project too, I last saw Russell when Clare Grogan, Chesney, Limahl and myself performed for Dance Off Comic Relief.
Russell looks bloody amazing and was totally up to date with all the new facts about diet and longevity……I hope he writes the book one day because I couldn’t keep up with all the info he was telling us about. He is living proof food keeps you well.
Yet again TOYAH AND ROBERT’S SUNDAY LUNCH pre-empts music news. RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS: CANT STOP from last Sunday is a huge hit, we had no idea they were about to tour and that Flea was playing the Super Bowl….we just play what we love! AND WE LOVE THE CHILLI PEPPERS!
Stay safe everyone.
See you out there and…. BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD